Entries by Cropnuts

Field Trials & Research

This week I am going to take a relatively easy subject to discuss. Trials that I am currently doing, and why I think these areas need attention. I have carried out several field trials so far, but I’m starting to forge ideas for the areas that I really want to examine further, where there is […]

Curbing Horticulture Soil-Borne Diseases

By Ruth Vaughan In intensive horticulture, soil borne diseases cause yield and quality loss, and if left unchecked can result in complete project failure, as we have seen happen many times. All soils, unless completely dead, have a large and diverse microbial population, some good and some bad. The trick is to keep the soils […]

Duponchelia fovealis & How to Control Them

Duponchelia fovealis, aka the European Pepper Moth, is an emerging pest in our Kenyan greenhouses. This may be due to the reduced use of harsh chemicals. You can often see the adults as you wander through the greenhouses, when disturbed they fly out of the plants. The adult moth is brown and white and relatively […]

Understanding the role of Cover Crops

Cover crops have certainly made it into the mainstream in the last few years. What was known as a “Green Manure” and was seldom seen outside organic farms, is now much more widespread thanks in part to an increasing awareness of soil health and the role that maintaining a cover can have in limiting erosion […]

Link between Aflatoxin and Maize Nutrition

Researchers here in Kenya have established a link between the potentially harmful Aflatoxins, and poor crop health and nutrition in maize. Improved soil fertility, agronomy and soil testing can all help reduce levels of this carcinogen in grain. Aflatoxins are produced by a fungus which thrives on maize crops in poor health, and the recent […]

The Bountiful Benefits of Biochar

By Ruth Vaughan, Technical Director, CropNuts Biochar is the new buzz word in farming.  What is it?  Biochar is basically ‘charred’ agricultural waste created through slow burning of organic matter in the absence of oxygen (pyrolysis).  This creates a porous, high carbon, stable material that can be added to the soil to improve soil properties. […]

Sodium Strategies: The effect of high soil sodium

By Ruth Vaughan, CropNuts Technical Director In Africa, and especially in Kenya, high soil sodium is one of the major causes of yield losses, quality reduction and crop failure in irrigated agriculture.  So today, in our first newsletter, we are going to talk about sodium in the soil. Soils High With Sodium Soils with a […]